| HONG KONG, March 28
HONG KONG, March 28 Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd
, China's top copper producer, said on
Wednesday its copper mining projects in Peru and Afghanistan
would be delayed over political and legal issues, but it hoped
to start production between 2014 and 2016.
The two projects had earlier been expected to start
production between 2014 and 2015. Jiangxi Copper owns 25 percent
of the Aynak project, with 75 percent owned by Metallurgical
Corp of China. The firm owns 40 percent of the Peru
project, with 60 percent owned by China Minmetals Non-Ferrous
"Due to various politics and legal issues, the progress of
the two projects is different from what we had expected,"
Chairman Li Yihuang told a news conference in Hong Kong.
Progress at Afghanistan's Aynak project has slowed after
Buddhist remains were uncovered at the mine southwest of Kabul
Li said the company hoped a relocation plan would be
finalized in the first half of this year but could not give a
timeframe for completion.
He said the copper mine project in Northern Peru was
undergoing an environmental assessment, with construction to
start after the local government approved the assessment.
Li's comments came after the copper producer reported an
increase of a third in its 2011 net profit.
But Li said this year's copper prices may not be as good as
in 2011 and Jiangxi Copper expects domestic prices to average
57,000 yuan ($9,000) a tonne in 2012. Spot copper traded at
59,550 yuan in the domestic market on Wednesday.
Despite delays on overseas mining projects, Jiangxi Copper
plans to lift production to 1.09 million tonnes of refined
copper cathode this year, an increase of 16 percent from 940,000
tonnes last year, which itself saw a rise of 4.4 percent from
The firm's mines in China will produce 210,000 tonnes of
copper contained in concentrates this year, up 4 percent from
202,000 tonnes last year.
Financial controller Gan Chengjiu said Jiangxi Copper
planned to raise imports of raw material concentrate 13 percent
to 1.02 million tonnes of copper concentrates this year, from
about 900,000 tonnes last year. About 70 percent of the imports
would be under term contracts and the rest would be bought in
the international spot market.
The spot purchases will be determined on spot treatment and
refining charges (TC/RC), which are paid by overseas sellers to
Jiangxi Copper to convert concentrate imports into refined metal
and deducted from concentrate sale prices based on London Metal
Exchange copper prices.
This week, spot standard-grade concentrate was sold to China
at TC/RCs of $53 a tonne and 5.3 cents a pound, respectively,
compared to TC/RCs of $60-$63.5 and 6-6.35 cents for shipments
in 2012, two smelter sources said. Offers from international
trading houses were at around $40 and 4 cents.
LEAD, ZINC, RARE EARTHS
Chairman Li said Jiangxi Copper planned to expand into other
areas in order to keep growth, but gave no details.
But the parent of Jiangxi Copper had no plan to inject its
lead, zinc and rare earths assets into the listed company, said
Li, who is also chairman of the parent.
The parent operates one 100,000-tonne-a-year lead smelter
and one 100,000-tonne-a-year zinc smelter in the southeastern
province of Jiangxi. Li said the parent was preparing to kick
off massive mining of rare earths.
(Reporting by Polly Yam; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)